Bat Exposure

Anyone who encounters a bat should be evaluated by a medical professional for risk of rabies. Encounters with a bat include:

  • Direct contact with a bat
  • Finding a bat in your home or cabin
  • Sleeping in a room while a bat was in it

If you discover a bat in your home or cabin:

  • Put on thick gloves
  • When the bat lands on a wall or the floor, trap the bat inside a container like a box or a can
  • Seal the container
  • Do not touch the bat
  • Call Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department Communicable Disease Control at (253) 798-6410 to determine if the bat needs to be tested for rabies

If you are bitten by a bat:

  • Wash the wound with soap and water
  • Get medical attention within 24 hours
  • The medical provider should immediately report the bat bite to Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department

To avoid possible exposure to rabies:

  • Do not touch live or dead bats
  • Teach children not to touch live or dead wild animals
  • Make sure your home’s open windows have screens
  • Vaccinate pet dogs, cats, and ferrets against rabies, as required by Washington State law (WAC 246-100-197)